Row over Burntisland park funding

Cllr George Kay is upset that funding is being given to a park in Castle without consultation, when many locals have been busy fundraising for new equipment at the Links (above)
Cllr George Kay is upset that funding is being given to a park in Castle without consultation, when many locals have been busy fundraising for new equipment at the Links (above)

A Burntisland councillor has voiced his upset at what he called an apparent divide within the town over funding for a new playpark.

t the Kirkcaldy area committee, councillors were asked to approve funding of £8000 from the anti-poverty fund for upgrades to Rossend Play Park in the Castle area.

The request comes following approvals of £10,000 from the same fund and £20,000 from the Housing Improvement Budget.

However, Councillor George Kay was quick to voice his anger that the report had come before the committee, after what he considered as no consultation with the wider community.

That was in comparison with the efforts to replace West Links playpark which was removed earlier this year.

He said: “When the swing park in West Links was removed and we were told that there was no budget for renewal we set out to fend for ourselves.”

He added: “To suddenly find that a project which has not been consulted upon by any group in Burntisland outside the Castle is a real kick in the teeth to those people who have been working with the community for well over a year now.”

Cllr Kay also noted that meetings held within the Castle to consult upon the wider Neighbourhood Development Plan (NDP) had been very badly attended, or even cancelled due to lack of interest.

However, fellow ward councillor Susan Leslie hit back, commenting: “It’s important for us to realise that the NDP must work from the bottom up – we as councillors are not the community and can’t presume to put our views forward as those of the communities.

“In terms of the park, I understand the difficulty here and the timing is unfortunate because funding is available for this project when another park which is better used is looking for funding too.”

Both councillors Peter George and Lawrence Brown were keen to see progress. Cllr George said: “I visited the park to see what condition it’s in and there is wear and tear there, especially on the roundabout. We’ve been talking about this for 18 months – let’s just get on with it.”

Cllr Brown added: “We’ve heard these arguments before in other areas – why did Gallatown get funding and not others? Because it needed it; and that’s the same with Castle. Let’s get on.”